How we started
In 1917 Melvin Jones, a Chicago businessman, created a club for local businessmen to combine their talents to improve the local community. In 1920, Lions Clubs became ‘Lions Clubs International’ with the formation of the ﬁrst club outside of the USA in Canada. During the Second World War, Canadian servicemen and Lions club members helped children victims of the blitz. Shortly after that, the ﬁrst UK clubs were formed.
Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is supported by 46,000 clubs worldwide. If each club donates £1,000 per annum to LCIF (some contribute more, some less), that’s £46M income per annum and as all members pay an annual subscription to cover admin and insurance costs, that’s a huge amount to support people across the globe in a wide range of programmes particularly these eight major initiatives:-
Lions are known throughout the world for their work to improve the lives of the visually impaired and prevent avoidable blindness. LCIF proudly serves their continued efforts by offering unique and impactful initiatives, programmes and grants. Our aim is to prevent avoidable blindness and improve the quality of life for people who are blind or visually impaired.
- 1 billion people live with vision impairment that could have been prevented or can be corrected.
- US$14.3 billion is needed to treat existing cases of refractive error and cataracts worldwide.
- Unaddressed distance vision impairment in many low and middle-income regions is 4 times higher than in high-income regions.
- 89% of people with visual impairment live in developing countries
Source:- The World Health Organisation
LCIF improves access to quality education, vital health services, and positive youth development for young people around the world. Lions Quest, LCIF’s signature youth education program, is a social emotional learning curriculum which gives students the skills to navigate life and prevent bullying and substance abuse.
- 1 in 3 students reports being bullied online; 20% report skipping school because of online bullying or violence.
- 2 in 3 students in 160 countries worry about violence in and around schools.
- Reading scores and bullying are directly correlated.
- Schools with positive school climate practices like, Lions Quest, have lower rates of absenteeism and bullying.
Sources: UNICEF and Thapa, A., Cohen, J., Guffey, S., & Higgins-D’Alessandro, A. (2013). A review of school climate research. Review of educational research, 83(3), 357-3853. DISASTER RELIEF
3. DISASTER RELIEF
Whenever and wherever disaster strikes, Lions are often among the first to offer help. LCIF provides immediate emergency relief assistance to victims and natural disasters through the service work of local Lions clubs worldwide.
An example of this is the Australian bushfires. We all watched in horror the reports on our TVs – we were a world away and felt helpless. On the ground Lions clubs across Australia were out in full force doing everything they could to support those so badly impacted. They supported local residents and federal emergency service workers.
Since November 2019 LCIF has provided US$343,000 in grants to provide funding for water tanks and immediate assistance in those impacted areas of Australia. Over the last 40 years weather-related disasters have grown by more than 50% robbing innocent people of their homes, jobs and lives.
- 90% of all natural disasters are water-related.
- 25.3 million people are displaced each year by sudden disasters.
- Annual economic losses are estimated at US$250Bn-US$300Bn.
Source: United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination
4. HUMANITARIAN CAUSES
The humanitarian efforts of Lions have been notable and celebrated for more than 100 years. Working together, local Lions identify the world’s most crucial needs and LCIF supports them in their efforts to provide humanitarian aid where it’s needed most.
- 15% of the world’s population experience disability; prevalence is higher in developing countries; More than190M experience significant disability.
- 20M people need hospice care annually, 3M receive it.
- High social connectedness = 50% increased chance of longevity.
Sources: The World Bank Group, Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance, and World Health Organization Stanford Medicine
Lions from around the world fight for better diabetes relief. We run initiatives and programs to improve the lives of those living with diabetes and helping others from developing type two diabetes.
We’re helping educate the world on the need for diabetes research, programs and initiatives. Our goal is to reduce these statistics in the coming years through service, investment, and kindness.
- 463 million 20 to 79 year-olds had diabetes (Cases expected by 2045: 700 million)
- 10% of all health expenditure on adults was due to diabetes
- 50% of diabetes cases were undiagnosed
- 374 million people were at increased risk of type 2 diabetes
- 4.2 million deaths were caused by diabetes
Source: The World Health Organisation
6. CHILDHOOD CANCER
Cancer is a leading cause of death for children and adolescents around the world. LCIF provides funding support to Lions and has developed strategic partnerships to help improve outcomes for children with cancer.
- 57% of childhood cancer cases go undiagnosed in parts of the world.
- Childhood cancer survival rates;- more than 80% in developed countries, compared with less than 20% in developing countries.
- Cancer is a leading cause of death for children 300,000 new cases annually in 0-19-year-olds.
Sources: The Lancet, United Nations, WHO
Hunger is a problem without borders. LCIF provides grants, programmes and initiatives to help Lions make huge strides in providing meals and nutrition for those in need in the hope that one day no child will ever have to live without knowing when their next meal will come.
- 1 in 9 people is chronically hungry.
- At least 50% of children under age 5 have hidden hunger and lack of essential nutrients.
- 2 billion people lack regular access to nutritious and sufficient food.
- 25% of children are stunted due to lack of nutritious food.
- 815 million people affected by hunger in 2016, that’s 11% of the global population.
- 1/3rd of annual food production is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain
- 33% of women of reproductive age suffer from anaemia
Sources: The World Health Organisation. Why Hunger, UNICEF, United Nations
The Earth sustains human life. That’s why LCIF is dedicated to helping Lions take on large-scale projects that will create a sustainable and healthy future for generations to come. From recycling programs to tree-planting to ensuring all areas have access to clean water, we’re working hard to keep the earth in its best condition.
Lions serve to strengthen the relationship between the community and its environment. We’ve seen how our stewardship of natural resources can improve quality of life and increase engagement in our local communities.
- Temperature Up/GDP Down: Average annual .072˚°F global temperature rise = 7.22% reduced world GDP per capita by 2100.
- More than 500 million people live in areas affected by erosion linked to climate change.
- 7 million lives lost annually from air pollution.
Sources: CNBC, United Nations, World Health Organisation